S S Wesley was the grandson of Charles Wesley and the son of Samuel Wesley. Both father and son were said to have been the finest organists of their age, and the son was called Sebastian after Johann Sebastian Bach, whom the elder Samuel idolized and whose music he did much to promote. S S Wesley was to serve as organist in turn of four English cathedrals and of Leeds Parish Church when it was developing its cathedral style of worship. His career was marked by frequent disagreements with the cathedral clergy because of his constant campaigning for the improvement of their music. He composed a number of fine anthems for cathedral use, but in this, and in his earlier secular compositions, was hampered by the poverty of musical education in this country. There are many fine composers who seem only to have been successful with one hymn tune. S S Wesley, however, is likely to have a dozen in most hymn books and to be responsible for the versions of others that we use (see also track bs). His publication The European Psalmist (1872) contained over seven hundred tunes, original or edited by him. These words are a version of the same Latin hymn that give us ‘Christ is made the sure foundation’. The name of the tune may well come from Harewood Park, a now demolished mansion near Hereford, which he could have got to know when he was organist there.
from notes by Alan Luff © 2001